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How Change Happens

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Society is full of would-be 'change agents'-campaigners, government officials, enlightened business people, engaged intellectuals-set on improving public services, reforming laws and regulations, guaranteeing human rights, achieving a fairer deal for those on the sharp end, and greater recognition for any number of issues. Drawing on many first-hand examples and numerous new case studies and interviews with grassroots activists and organizations around the world, as well as Oxfam's unrivalled global experience, this important book answers the question: how does change happen and how can we-governments, organizations, businesses, leaders, campaigners, employees, and ordinary citizens-make a difference?

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Green Duncan
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Duncan Green is Oxfam GB's Senior Strategic Adviser. He also teaches on international development at the London School of Economics, where he is a Professor in Practice. His blog is one of the most widely read on international development, and is named after his book From Poverty to Power (2nd ed., 2012). How Change Happens contains the accumulated experience of years spent engaged in the field, researching and writing about reducing poverty and combating injustice and, as the author says, trying to, "do justice to the complexity of the world, while still believing there is a story about how it can be changed for the better."

Foreword, Ha-Joon Chang


Part I: A Power and Systems Approach

1: Systems Thinking Changes Everything

2: Power Lies at the Heart of Change

3: Shifts in Social Norms often Underpin Change

Case Study: The Chiquitanos of Bolivia

Part II: Institutions and the Importance of History

4: How States Evolve

5: The Machinery of Law

6: Accountability, Political Parties, and the Media

7: How the International System Shapes Change

8: Transnational Transnational Corporations as Drivers and Targets of Change

Case Study: The December 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Part III: What Activists Can (and Can't) Do

9: Citizen Activism and Civil Society

10: Leaders and Leadership

11: The Power of Advocacy

Part IV: Pulling it All Together

12: A Power and Systems Approach to Making Change Happen



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